Center for Strategic Communication

Special Report: How foreign firms tried to sell spy gear to Iran

Steve Stecklow/Reuters

An investigation by Reuters has revealed that some foreign firms have attempted to sell Iran technology that could enable the country’s security services to monitor networks, collect information on civilian activities, and crackdown on dissent.

Fatal sectarian clashes in Lebanon’s Tripoli

Al Jazeera

“Two men have been killed and three others wounded in sectarian clashes in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli between gunmen loyal to opposing sides in neighbouring Syria’s civil war.”

The Forgotten Art of Thinking About the Bomb

John Wohlstetter/The American Spectator

A review of Paul Bracken’s new book The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics, discussing the reconceptualization of potential aims of nuclear power to deal with emerging security concerns.

Egypt vote ‘will go ahead’ despite unrest

BBC News

Egypt’s Vice President Mahmoud Mekki has insisted that a referendum on a controversial draft constitution will go ahead, despite growing protests. Clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi outside the presidential palace in Cairo raised speculation over the status of the referendum.

The Big Kill

John Arquilla/Foreign Policy

An assessment of statistical analyses, including the UN’s 2012 Human Security Report, suggesting that violence and wars have generally decreased in the contemporary era. The author argues that, though combat death figures may have declined, the number of noncombatant deaths have significantly increased.

Race Is On to Clean Up Hydraulic Fracturing

Erica Gies/NY Times

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has raised fears around the world that the procedure needed to coax shale oil and gas out of tightly packed rock could cause pollution damaging to human health. The process uses huge amounts of water, and environmentalists, landowners and others worry that drinking-water supplies could be contaminated.

Zbigniew Brzezinski: President Obama must ‘follow through’

Kevin Robillard/Politico

The former National Security Advisor discussed the connection between the President’s messaging and foreign policy undertakings in a media appearance Wednesday morning. He outlines possible strategies to enhance foreign policy in Obama’s second term, including potential cabinet appointments.

U.S. Commandos’ New Landlord in Afghanistan: Blackwater

Spencer Ackerman/Wired

U.S. Special Operations Forces have a new headquarters in Afghanistan. It’s owned and operated by Academi, the security company formerly known as Blackwater.

To Stop Climate Change, Students Aim at College Portfolios

Justin Gillis/New York Times

A group of Swarthmore College students is asking the school administration to take a seemingly simple step to combat pollution and climate change: sell off the endowment’s holdings in large fossil fuel companies. For months, they have been getting a simple answer: no. As they consider how to ratchet up their campaign, the students suddenly find themselves at the vanguard of a national movement.

ASP Reports


Critical National Security Challenges

Joshua Foust

As the United States looks toward the next four years of foreign policy, there are critical issues that the country must grapple with. These challenges are also opportunities to push ahead and think of new solutions. This report provides an overview of the most pressing threats to our holistic security as Americans.

On our Flashpoint Blog


A chaotic intelligence community

Joshua Foust

The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the Pentagon is sending hundreds of spies overseas as part of its rapid expansion into espionage- an endeavor rivaling the CIA. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) will oversee this effort, expected to top the deployment of 1,600 agents worldwide. And it is the wrong approach.

Resources in the South China Sea

Xander Vagg

While a range of academics, policy-experts, NGO’s, and government agencies from around the world have offered an enormous amount of commentary on the South China Sea, most have focused on the territorial and political disputes in the region without fully discussing what the conflict truly centers on: a concentration of energy resources.

Norway’s Artic Strategy: Profitability and Environmental Responsibility

Yong Wang

Norway is one of five countries with territorial claims in the Arctic and has been actively opening up its continental shelf for oil and gas development. As the U.S. is in the early stages of expanding oil drilling in the Arctic, Norway may offer a model on prudent oil and gas development in such a remote region.